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SG-W:/ They are starting to hear our message!

>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 12:56:03 -0500
>To: ezekiel@aaps.k12.mi.us
>From: Dan Ezekiel <ezekiel@aaps.k12.mi.us>
>Subject: They are starting to hear our message!
>Cc: Riley@aaps.k12.mi.us, english@aaps.k12.mi.us, michael@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   satchwel@aaps.k12.mi.us, piercer@aaps.k12.mi.us, kielb@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   szczygie@aaps.k12.mi.us, ezekielt@aaps.k12.mi.us, workman@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   ringo@aaps.k12.mi.us, teshima@aaps.k12.mi.us, Harringt@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   klein@aaps.k12.mi.us, szalay@aaps.k12.mi.us, knake@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   king@aaps.k12.mi.us, kinga@aaps.k12.mi.us, marroqui@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   lane@aaps.k12.mi.us, lynch@aaps.k12.mi.us, freeman@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   russell@aaps.k12.mi.us, hoefling@aaps.k12.mi.us, ventimig@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   puntenne@aaps.k12.mi.us, drake@aaps.k12.mi.us, drakem@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   pokela@aaps.k12.mi.us, lynn@aaps.k12.mi.us, cowhy@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   hahn@aaps.k12.mi.us, randolph@aaps.k12.mi.us, piercer@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   christen@aaps.k12.mi.us, chapman@aaps.k12.mi.us, madison@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   shakaria@aaps.k12.mi.us, lawtherj@aaps.k12.mi.us, rebecca@ecocenter.org,
>   ezekiel@aaps.k12.mi.us, jeffries@aaps.k12.mi.us, kalnarau@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   ambrosin@aaps.k12.mi.us, kinga@aaps.k12.mi.us, whited@aaps.k12.mi.us,
>   piercem@aaps.k12.mi.us
>Dear Friends of the Ann Arbor Public School's Environmental Education program:
>	Here is an update about what's going on in our attempt to get the
>Board of Education to reject the AAPS administration's recommendation to
>cut the size of the Environmental Ed staff by one (currently Dave
>Szczygiel, who is slated to be sent back to the classroom in the fall).
>	We held a meeting last night at the Ecology Center to plan further
>campaigning.  Those who have called board trustees reported that the
>trustees said they have received MANY calls, asking/insisting/demanding
>that this program not be slashed.  A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE
>CALLED, WRITTEN, OR EMAILED BOARD MEMBERS.  They are hearing our message
>loud and clear.  But we are not out of the woods yet, not even close.
>	Here are several lines of argument to keep in mind:
>	*The administration thinks it needs to cut our science and env ed
>staff because it perceives inequity in having three people in these
>positions, where most academic areas have only one.  WE NEED TO POINT OUT
>1.5 CURRICULUM POSITIONS (Joe Riley and half of Janet Kahan in science,
>Dave Szczygiel and half of Janet Kahan in env ed).  This may help give
>board members the leeway they need to support not cutting Dave's (or either
>of the other two's) position.
>	*Unlike all the other curriculum personnel, DAVE AND JANET WORK
>DIRECTLY WITH STUDENTS EVERY DAY!!  Dave leads the wonderful environmental
>field trips that EVERY K-6 student takes each year, such as 'winter
>survival', Kensington, or the city's water and waste systems.  So does
>Janet, the half of her that is env. ed.  (I think it is the right half!
>	Her other half spends most of its time delivering animals to
>classrooms and picking them up, so that every second grader can see a quail
>hatch from its egg, every fourth grader can observe crayfish behavior, and
>every first grader can experience the wonder of seeing a butterfly emerge
>from its chrysalis).
>  	'Curriculum specialists' sound like people who inhabit offices far
>from classrooms, but this couldn't be further from the truth in the case of
>these magnificent teachers!
>	We are not sure whether all the board members or administrators
>understand this important difference.
>	HERE ARE THE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE NOW to help keep our wonderful
>environmental ed. and science staff in the jobs where they belong, working
>with our children to learn about and care about the natural world:
>	1.  Attend, or better yet, speak at the Board of Education meetings
>on April 25th and May 9th.  If you would like to speak, you must reserve
>public comment time by calling Karen Mimikos at 994-2232, during business
>hours.  Talk about the ways in which the science and environmental ed.
>programs have affected you and your children.
>	If you are shy about public speaking, please attend the meetings to
>add moral support for those who will be speaking!  It means a great deal to
>have lots of folks in the seats, nodding and saying 'yes' when the speakers
>are addressing the board.
>	2.  Read the attachments below to familiarize yourself with the
>issue, then spread the word.  Forward this email to anyone you think might
>be interested!  Talk to your friends, neighbors, and workmates about this
>  	3.  Write letters to the Ann Arbor News, call radio call-in shows, etc.
>	4.  Attend our next meeting to plan the end stages of the campaign.
>It will be held at the Ecology Center (117 N. Division) at 7:30-9 pm on
>Monday, April 30.  You can park for free in the Ann Arbor News parking area
>behind city hall.  We have some interesting ideas for some possible
>attention grabbing theater at the May 9th meeting, where the final decision
>may be made.
>Here are the previous updates:
>>Dear Colleagues:
>> >	See below a message from David Szczygiel, the Ann Arbor Public
>> >Schools' outstanding Environmental Education Specialist, about his position
>> >being cut for next school year!  This must not be allowed to happen.
>> >	We need to take quick action to prevent this unwise cut.  Our model
>> >should be the 5th grade music program, which was also slated to be cut next
>> >year, a plan the Board of Education abandoned after encountering a stone
>> >wall of community opposition.
>> >	Please note that the administration's position that cutting Dave's
>> >job does not hurt the environmental ed. program; they expect Joe Riley and
>> >Janet Kahan to somehow take up the slack (and also keep butterfly
>> >chrysalises, anoles, crawfish, etc., supplied to the classrooms).  This is
>> >absurd and will not work, but when teachers and parents complain next year,
>> >the administration can claim that the science dept. did a poor job of doing
>> >'less with more'.  Dave fears that if we complain about his position being
>> >cut, the administration will offer to cut Janet's instead.
>> >	Our message needs to be simple:  "LEAVE THE SCIENCE AND
>> >ENVIRONMENTAL ED. DEPARTMENTS ALONE!"  The environmental ed field trips
>> >have been running in the Ann Arbor Public Schools for almost 40 years.
>> >They were started by Bill Stapp, who went on to become a world-famous
>> >environmental educator, chair of the United Nations Environmental Ed
>> >Program, founder of the global river monitoring program GREEN.  He is now
>> >gravely ill.  This cut dishonors him and his lifetime work.  It is also
>> >ironic that the board will take input about cutting environmental ed during
>> >the week of Earth Day!
>> >	The time is short; the board will probably take action on this
>> >proposal May 9th.  Here are four actions you can take to help prevent this
>> >unwise cut and save environmental ed. in Ann Arbor for many years to come:
>> >
>> >	1.  Attend a meeting at the Ecology Center, moderated by the
>> >Center's Rebecca Kanner, to plan the campaign.  The meeting will be held
>> >from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on Monday, April 23.  The Ecology Center is at 117 N.
>> >Division, near E. Huron.  You can park in the Ann Arbor News parking lot.
>> >The meeting will be in the basement meeting room.
>> >	2.  Forward this email to other concerned staff members you know.
>> >	3.  Publicize this situation.  Write letters to the editor of the
>> >AA News, talk to your students and their parents and make them aware of
>> >what they stand to lose (see below).  Encourage supportive parents to email
>> >or (especially) call school board members (see list below).  Judging by the
>> >5th grade music campaign, parent contacts with board members are the most
>> >effective in influencing a board decision.  Board members who we
>> >particularly need to sway include Karen Cross, Bob Rasmussen, and Henry
>> >McQueen.  It is also important to forward emails to the Superintendent
>> >(raytaylo@aaps.k12.mi.us) and Assistant Superintendent Fornero
>> >(fornero@aaps.k12.mi.us)!
>> >	4.  Reserve time to speak at the April 25 board meeting.  Call
>> >Karen Mimikos at 994-2232 and tell your name.  You will have 4 minutes to
>> >speak during the public commentary, early in the meeting.  If we can get
>> >parents and students to speak at the board meetings about what they have
>> >gained from the work of the sci and env ed specialists, this will be
>> >especially effective.  I believe that the students who spoke at BOE
>> >meetings about 5th grade music were particularly effective.
>> >
>> >	Thank you for your help.  Time is short, and defeat is not an option.
>> >
>> >	Dan Ezekiel, Forsythe Middle School teacher, Pioneer and Bach
>> >parent, Bach, Slauson, Tappan, and Pioneer alumnus.
>> >
>> >
>> >Based on the board meeting last Wednesday, the administration's proposed
>> >plan is to cut my position and send me back to a classroom without cutting
>> >the entire EE program. (The loss of my position would severely impact the
>> >program)
>> >
>> > Trustee Browning made it clear that this would cut directly into student
>> >experience and that he was opposed to directly cutting student programing.
>> >Bill mentioned my name and Janet Kahan's name to make it clear who's face
>> >it was to get cut and who would attempt to carry on the EE program. (The
>> >administration initially only provided numbers and not names).
>> >
>> > Trustee Browning also stated that the program could not be carried by one
>> >person alone. He continued to express his opposition to cutting  even part
>> >of a
>> >student connect/curriculum connect program.
>> >
>> >If you could send a letter supporting the EE program to the superintendent
>> >and BOE members, I think it would be helpful. Below is a list of what you
>> >can do, important  points to make, and the addresses of key decision making
>> >people.
>> >
>> >Thanks again for all the support you give this program. I think we have
>> >served the community well in EE's 40 year history:)
>> >Hopefully this BOE will allow us to continue educating all children about
>> >the environment.
>> >
>> >Sincerely,
>> >Dave Szczygiel
>> >
>> >Here is what you can do
>> >1.	Speak at a Board meeting.
>> >To be a speaker at the Board of Education meetings,  call Karen Mimikos at
>> >994-2232 and tell your name.  You will have 4 minutes to speak during the
>> >public commentary (EARLY in the meeting.)
>> >Next Board meetings:   April 25, May 9.
>> >
>> >2.	 Write a letter to the board; mail it to each board member (addresses
>> >enclosed), cc it George Fornero, Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, at
>> >Balas,  Dr. Fornero is our administrator.
>> >
>> >3. Speak to parents.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >Your own voice and concerns are most important to express.  Also, here are
>> >some points that could be made:
>> >
>> >Science
>> >o	serves all students
>> >o	curriculum is articulated, coordinated and written down.  We use
>> >nationally recognized units whenever possible.
>> >o	provides a common base of experience for all students
>> >o	K-8 has a rich, activity based program, with multiple opportunities
>> >for reading, writing activities that also serve Language Arts goals.
>> >Centrally coordinated live animals spark interest at many grade levels.
>> >o	the high schools have a coordinated curriculum, with common
>> >objectives, based on the state framework
>> >	provides focused inservice for teachers.  New to grade level
>> >teachers have opportunities each year to learn their units.  On-going
>> >inservice for all teachers helps teachers build an understanding of science
>> >concepts and effective strategies for engaging students.  Teachers can get
>> >help when they need it.
>> >o	district has high achievement, well above the state average.
>> >	5th grade Science MEAP	District 54.8% proficient	State 43 %
>> >	8th gr. Science MEAP	District 45%	State 24.2%
>> >	HS Science MEAP among top in the state
>> >
>> >Environmental Education,
>> >o	serves all students K - 6
>> >o	develops an ethic of environmental stewardship and appreciation
>> >o	provides a common base of experience for all students
>> >o	tied to the curriculum and based on the state framework
>> >o	uses local resources such as Pioneer, Thurston and Scarlett Woods;
>> >teaches about local infrastructure such as drinking water and waste
>> >o	highly engaging for students, and builds community support for schools
>> >o	has an excellent track record for safety, smooth operation for more
>> >than 40 years
>> >o	takes only 1 and 1/2 people to serve whole district K-6
>> >

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